FOX's Hume covered for Sinclair's Stolen Honor programming shift


Following Sinclair Broadcast Group's October 19 announcement that it would not air the anti-Kerry film Stolen Honor: Wounds that Never Heal "in its entirety," FOX News Channel managing editor and chief Washington correspondent Brit Hume echoed Sinclair's claim that it never "publicly announce[d] that it intended to do so." On the "Grapevine" segment of FOX News Channel's Special Report with Brit Hume on October 20, Hume asserted that, contrary to press reports, "in fact, Sinclair said from the beginning it had not finalized any plans and it never said it would broadcast the whole documentary." However, Sinclair's intention to broadcast the entire film was made clear by news reports and television listings, and Sinclair vice president Mark Hyman defended Sinclair's decision to air the film.

On October 9, the Los Angeles Times reported that Sinclair "is ordering its stations to preempt regular programming just days before the Nov. 2 election to air a film that attacks Sen. John F. Kerry's activism against the Vietnam War, network and station executives familiar with the plan said."

Hyman defended Sinclair's decision to air the film in subsequent news reports. According to an October 11 New York Times article, Hyman "said the film would be shown because Sinclair deemed it newsworthy." The Washington Post reported on October 12 that Hyman "said Monday that the show would contain some or all of the 42-minute film as well as a panel discussion of some sort" and that he "defended it as a [sic] legitimate news." On the October 12 edition of CNN's American Morning, Hyman stressed that "This is news," and told the Washington Post for an October 11 article: "'This is a powerful story. ... The networks are acting like Holocaust deniers and pretending [the POWs] don't exist. It would be irresponsible to ignore them.'"

While current Yahoo! TV listings show that Sinclair will air A POW Story: Politics, Pressure and the Media, journalist and blogger Joshua Micah Marshall noted on October 19 that the listings showed that Stolen Honor was scheduled to air on Sinclair stations. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette TV editor Rob Owen noted the program change on October 21: "Sinclair's program, originally titled Stolen Honor: The Point Special Edition, was scheduled to first air tonight on Pittsburgh's WCWB. Just this week the program's content was revised and the show was retitled 'A POW Story: Politics, Pressure and the Media.' It will now have only one broadcast at 8 p.m. Friday on [Pittsburgh TV station] WPGH."

Brit Hume
Sinclair Broadcasting, 2004 Elections
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